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How to support refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people who have experienced trauma

December 2021 – A brief summary of some of the traumatic experiences refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people may experience with a list of helpful resources.

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Supporting traumatically bereaved children and young people

In this video Professor Eamon McCrory explains what scientists have learned about how mental health problems develop over time in an accessible way for professionals and carers working with children.

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What is traumatic bereavement?

In this video Professor Eamon McCrory explains what scientists have learned about how mental health problems develop over time in an accessible way for professionals and carers working with children.

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How to make effective referrals for traumatic bereavement

In this video Professor Eamon McCrory explains what scientists have learned about how mental health problems develop over time in an accessible way for professionals and carers working with children.

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Inclusive practice: stigma, safety and strengths

In this video Professor Eamon McCrory explains what scientists have learned about how mental health problems develop over time in an accessible way for professionals and carers working with children.

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How to support traumatically bereaved children and young people

In this video Professor Eamon McCrory explains what scientists have learned about how mental health problems develop over time in an accessible way for professionals and carers working with children.

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How to identify traumatic bereavement

In this video Professor Eamon McCrory explains what scientists have learned about how mental health problems develop over time in an accessible way for professionals and carers working with children.

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How latent vulnerability plays out over a child’s life

Dr. Roslyn Law, Clinical Psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre discusses how talking about brain development can help young people and families to develop new ways of thinking about their difficulties.

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How the brain adapts to adversity

In this video, How the Brain Adapts to Adversity, Professor Eamon McCrory shares what scientists have learned from studying the brain about the impact of abuse and neglect in an accessible way for professionals and carers working with children.

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Linking childhood trauma to mental health

In this video Professor Eamon McCrory explains what scientists have learned about how mental health problems develop over time in an accessible way for professionals and carers working with children.

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How to promote resilience and recovery

What can we do to help promote resilience and recovery in children following experiences of abuse and neglect? The answer to this question is not easy — there is no quick fix. However, both scientists and clinicians agree on several important principles that can guide those working with children. This videos reflects on these key principle.

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Early childhood and the developing brain

Our genes and our early experiences together determine the structure of our brain. But what experiences are the most important? This article explains how early relationships powerfully shape a child’s brain development, creating the foundation for later life. Includes brief introductions to epigenetics, sensitive periods of development, and brain development.

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Childhood Trauma: What happens when relationships go wrong?

Childhood trauma can lead to long-lasting changes in the brain. How does this happen? This article explains how brain systems involved in detecting threat, processing reward, and personal (autobiographical) memories adapt to experiences of abuse and neglect.

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Pathways to vulnerability

Why do brain changes following childhood trauma make a child more vulnerable to later mental health problems? Better understanding of the ways this can happen will help us to learn how to prevent difficulties from emerging in the first place.

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Neuroscience research

What is neuroscience and what do we know about brain development? What are the challenges and limitations of current research? In this video, several leading neuroscientists explore these questions.

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From the Field: Neuroscience experiments

To improve our understanding of children, neuroscientists look at the brain in tightly controlled experiments. Here are brief summaries of several key experiments that revealed some of the hidden links between early childhood experiences and brain development.

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Further Reading

For those of you who have an interest in learning more about this field, here is a list of articles that address different questions in the field. Most are review articles that summarise particular areas of research.

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Signs and symptoms of trauma in children and young people

A brief guide to help the adults (e.g. parents, carers, teachers) who are concerned about a child or young person’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Why understanding the past is crucial during a crisis

A brief guide to help mental health professionals and carers understand how past experiences of trauma, including abuse and neglect, make some children more vulnerable to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Promoting psychological recovery and wellbeing

A brief guide to help the adults (e.g. parents, carers, teachers), who are helping and supporting children affected by the coronavirus when the child or a family member has been very ill and survived.

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Trawma Yn Ystod Plentyndod A’Rymennydd

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Social relationships are key to well-being

Dr. Roslyn Law, Clinical Psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre discusses how talking about brain development can help young people and families to develop new ways of thinking about their difficulties.

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How research can help foster carers

Katherine Mautner, Play Therapist at the Anna Freud Centre,  discusses how understanding why children and young people may struggle to respond to their care helps all to work towards responding differently.

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A social work perspective on neuroscience research

James Kargbo, Senior Practitioner, and Lauren Crawley, Social Worker, Camden Fostering Team, discuss how research can inform safe caring plans and guide foster carers.

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Importance of staying connected to a child’s experiences

Katherine Mautner, Play Therapist at the Anna Freud Centre , explains how foster carers can work towards establishing feelings of trust and safety with the children in their care.

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The key role trust plays in learning

Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre, discusses why children who have experienced abuse and neglect struggle in educational environments.

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How a child’s body tells the story

Tessa Baradon, Child Psychotherapist at the Anna Freud Centre, explains how children’s bodies can carry their experiences of childhood trauma.

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What should professionals do when we disagree on how to help a child?

Dr. Dickon Bevington, Medical Director, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, shares four things for professionals to think about when things start going wrong among professionals working with a young person.

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How to help children who experience reward differently

Brenda McHugh, Co-Director of the Pears Family School at the Anna Freud Centre, gives some practical examples of how teachers can help children who may experience reward differently.

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The argument pizza and helping children to mentalize

Brenda McHugh, Co-Director of the Pears Family School at the Anna Freud Centre, shares how teachers can apply their understanding of the brain’s threat system with the Argument Pizza Method.

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What to do when waiting for a diagnosis

Brenda McHugh, Co-Director, Pears Family School, discusses how science gives teachers new descriptions of behaviour that can improve their understanding of a child or young person.

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How schools can combat social thinning

Brenda McHugh, Co-Director, Pears Family School, explains how a school can create their own ‘village to raise a child’ to help prevent exclusion.

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Helping a child create coherent memories

Katherine Mautner, Play Therapist at the Anna Freud  Centre , gives practical examples for foster carers to use to help children and young people make sense of their experiences.

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The value of curiosity for foster carers

Katherine Mautner, Play Therapist at the Anna Freud Centre, discusses how curiosity can help carers respond in a way that is more sensitive and appropriate to the children in their care.

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